Govt urged to restrict travellers from South Africa and countries with Omicron variant
30 Nov 2021
By Wartwan Nabalu News
KOTA KINABALU: Tanjong Papat Assemblyman Datuk Frankie Poon has urged the State Government to take action on restricting travellers who had been to South Africa and countries who have Covid-19 Omicron variant cases.
Frankie who is also the Sabah DAP Chairman stated that the government should take its own stand by imposing travel ban until the new variant is fully studied especially on how serious it is towards vaccinated people.
“A new Covid-19 variant named ‘Omicron’ has been discovered in South Africa and the known variant is also found in many other countries.
“Since it is a new discovery, there are still a lot of things that we do not know about this new variant. What we do know is that this new variant is maybe 10 times more infectious,” he said in a statement.
However, Frankie questioned how it would affect hospitalisation since there appears to be no data of increase in hospitalisation yet.
“Scientists and pharmaceutical companies are working round the clock to understand more and find the right vaccine to counter this new variant. This will take weeks at the least. I believe that the issue should be to determine how serious this new variant is,” he added.
He also cited Sarawak for restricting international travellers from going into the state and urged the state government to do so the same.
“Our state has a population of 3.9 million people but there are only about 200 ICU beds in Sabah. We need to protect our people.
“If this new variant enters Sabah and if it is deadly, we would not have the resources to handle the infections in our hospitals and clinics.
“The impact to our economy will even be more adversely impacted. Rather, a closed economy for at least until the seriousness of this new variant is known would prevent another slump in our small economy.”